Buying a mailbox may seem like an easy task, but did you know there are actually standards that mailboxes have to abide by according to the USPS? In other words, you need a postmaster’s approval even for a locking mailbox. If you’re looking to get yourself a new one and aren’t sure where to start, we’re going to talk you through the need-to-know information that will turn you into a savvy mailbox shopper.
How to Choose the Best Locking Mailbox
We mentioned the USPS mailbox regulations that you have to take into consideration, but there is so much more that one must pay attention to before spending money on a product. Let’s look over the locked mailbox know-how of 2020:
- First of all: the regulations. It is stated that every mailbox should have an opening of 1.75 x 10 inches, with the protective flap facing inwards. This provides enough room for your average letters to slide right in, while the flap is easier to work with from the mail carrier’s point of view. Locking mailboxes also need to have slots that can hold unfolded U.S. priority envelopes. Remember that the mail carrier will not have the key to your mailbox, so they can only put in your mail via the protective flap.
- With that out of the way, let’s discuss other aspects of the locked mailbox’s size. Before purchasing such a product, try to think of what type of mail you usually get. Is it bills? Magazines? Small packages? How small or large is your mail, typically? Because you want to invest money in a mailbox that can fit almost all your mail with ease. But the size of the mailbox isn’t determined based solely on the size of your mail; you will also have to consider how it fits into your existing décor. For instance, if you need a product to fit on a mailbox column, is the one you’re looking into a suitable item? Make sure you take the measurements of the available space and check the size of the mailbox you’re thinking of getting before actually buying it.
- Materials are always important when it comes to just about any type of product you want to purchase. When it comes to locked mailboxes, you need to make sure that the materials used to construct it are able to repel theft and, depending on where it’s mounted, also be to protect your mail against elements such as snow, rain, sun, or wing. The best locked mailboxes are made from galvanized steel. However, note that these aren’t 100 percent theft-proof because any thief with ambition, tools, and time, can crack through the casing and still get to your mail if they’re really determined. Other materials include aluminum or plastic, but they are easier to break compared to those made of galvanized steel. Plastic mailboxes are easier to install and typically cheaper compared to metal alternatives.
- The door mechanism is yet another thing to pay attention to when you’re interested in buying a locked mailbox. Baffle doors are the most common choice for individuals interested in protecting their mail. Baffle doors are designed to prevent anyone from reaching to grab your mail, but you need to take into account the fact that it’s going to be difficult for mail carriers to squeeze in packages through these types of doors.
- Rear access is a rather rare feature in locking mailboxes but it is still worth mentioning because of the benefits it provides. Mailboxes that provide rear access allow you to unlock the mailbox from the back side, making it way easier for you to get your mail. However, this type of mailbox isn’t always a viable option, especially if you are going to mount it on the wall and have no access to the rear door. It is, nevertheless, a good option if you install the mailbox in your fence, for instance, because the mailman can use the mailbox’s front door to slide in your mail and you can use the rear access door (which is facing your yard) to retrieve it.
Top 15 Best Locking Mailboxes
Lovers of classical vintage-style mailboxes with wooden carvings are going to love our first suggestion. This wall-mounted mailbox is made entirely out of aluminum, with a beautiful mail carrier pigeon carving. The metal casing is fade and rust-resistant, and comes in a beautiful bronze finish. The kit is delivered together with two keys and four screws for easy mounting. The mailbox measures 39” H x 42” W x 4” D overall, with the interior itself measuring 15.5” H x 16.5” W x 4” D.
The next example is another lockbox with a more traditional-looking design and a sturdy construction that is there to ensure that even larger packages are kept safe from intruders, but also shielded from nature’s elements. It comes with a patented locking system that prevents anyone from using a pry-bar to open up the access door and open it. It is a steel box with a wood grain finish that measures 11.25” H x 10.75” W x 21” D overall.
Looking for a weather-resistant mailbox that’s available in finishes such as white, black, or rubbed bronze? Then you should really take a look into the Oasis. It is a post-mounted mailbox designed entirely out of galvanized steel and equipped with two doors that grant access to the same compartment. The upper door is for the mail carrier to slide in the mail, while the bottom compartment is locked and grants you access to the mail. The mailbox measures 11.5” H x 11.3” W x 19.96” D overall and has a mail opening of 3.5” H x 10” W.
This gem coming from Gibraltar Mailboxes is a designed to be a wall-mounted product with a sturdy aluminum construction and available in a black or a white option. It has a medium holding capacity with sufficient space for you to receive regular mail. There is a special slot for outgoing mail and the red flag is surely handy for this purpose. The mailbox measures 13.25” H x 17.13” W x 8.4” D overall and comes with a lock on the bottom compartment.
The Polar Aurora mailbox is different compared to the others we’ve listed above in terms of design. It is a ground-mounted post with a solid construction and a very elegant retro design. It is the perfect option for those who own a house, as it can be mounted right at the gate. It is 46 inches tall and made from heavy-duty cast aluminum and iron, being one of the most solid products of its king. It comes with all the hardware needed to mount and comes with two keys.
The Amco mailbox is another stylish product with aluminum construction and designed to be mounted on the wall. It is fade and rust-resistant, and comes with a lock that grants access to the large compartment for retrieving your mail. The mail flap is made from solid brass and there are four keys included with every mailbox you order. The mailbox measures 18.19” H x 16” W x 6” D, while the mail opening is 2.5” H x 10.875” W.
Coming in at 13.6” H x 15.4” W x 8.1” D, the SereneLife mailbox is a simple product with a very simple design. It doesn’t stand out in any way, except for the construction and the good price. Made from galvanized steel, the mailbox is sturdy enough and not that easy to break into. It is a wall-mounted product with a weather-resistant construction that comes with all the mounting hardware required to set it up.
If it’s a simple mailbox you’re looking for, the LetterSentry is the type of product that will not disappoint. It is made from galvanized steel, much like every other good mailbox out there. It is fade and rust-resistant, with a construction that can withstand the test of time and prove worthy of your money. It is a post-mounted mailbox that also includes the post you need for installation. It measures 15.25” H x 10” W x 19.25” D and comes with an outgoing mail tray that measures 10” W x 6” D.
If you are an avid online buyer or receive packages on a regular basis regardless, you need a mailbox that’s suitable for your needs. This is where products like this Sandleford mailbox come in handy. It is constructed out of steel and measures 39.37” H x 15.75” W x 13.19” D overall, with a mail opening of 7.48” H x 11.8” W. This freestanding mailbox is constructed with two doors that grant access to the same compartment and impresses not just with its sleek design, but also its weatherproofness.
We mentioned at the beginning of the article that plastic mailbox can turn out to be a viable alternative to those made from steel and here is one example that supports our cause. Measuring 39.37” H x 19.68” W x 15.87” D, this product is designed with a two-compartment that provide a bunch of space for packages to be delivered safely even if they are bigger compared to the average ones that could actually fit in a mailbox. The anti-theft construction focuses on keeping parcels safer than they would be if they were just left on your front porch. The industrial-grade plastic is pretty resistant and can keep all mail safe from nature’s elements, while also being able to resist extreme temperatures for a long period of time.
Very similar to one of the other models shown above, we wanted to give you another Mail Boss option that’s more expensive compared to your average locked mailbox, but also has the specifications and features that can justify the spicy price tag. Available in a bunch of different finish options, this mailbox measures 21.5″ D x 12″ W x 16.5″ H and it comes with a stainless steel construction. The anti-pry latch locking mechanism is amongst the sturdiest one available in a product of its dimensions.
Those of you looking for a mailbox that’s a little out of the ordinary should really look into this English-style gem. This column box is made from iron and comes with a rust and fade-resistant finish. It measures 38” H x 14” W x 12.5” D overall has a mail opening of 1” H x 8.5” W. Staying true to the design and the concept of such a product, this mailbox is completely painted in red and includes a golden crown detail on the top.
With an almost romantic vibe to it, the Lewiston locking mailbox is the perfect place to put in those love letters! It is a post-mounted mailbox that’s made of cast aluminum and measures 72” H x 8” W x 20” D overall (the mail opening alone is 1” H x 6.5” W). It comes with all the mounting hardware needed and it includes a flag as well. Other features and specification include a fluted base, a call finial, and an included mounting support bracket for easier installation.
This mailbox has a very interesting design that almost makes it look like a monument. That’s because of the steel construction that’s adorned with intricate carvings and a beautiful gold finish. Measuring in at 48.51” H x 11.79” W x 20.94” D, this vertical post-mounted mailbox comes with a single compartment and an outgoing mail slot. It is equipped with a red flag as well. The content of the mailbox can be accessed through a rear panel.
The last item on today’s list is a large post-mounted mailbox that’s ideal for larger parcels that wouldn’t fit in a regular mailbox. This product is made entirely out of steel and comes in a black, silver pewter, or oil-rubbed bronze finish. The product is delivered with the post, the post anchor, and the lock. The access door is located on the back of the mailbox and provides you with easy access to the content of the mailbox. Overall, this product measures 45.05” H x 17.5” W x 26.6” D and weighs an impressive 120 pounds.
As you can see, your locking mailbox options are basically unlimited. There are so many different options to choose from, it can be overwhelming, but not if you pay attention to our buying guide and understand what each feature does and why it’s important overall. Keep in mind that there are regulations that you have to abide to when opting for a new mailbox and these will be different from one country to another. The rest is just a matter of how much money you are willing to invest in a quality product.